Vertical Herb Garden DIY

how to make a vertical herb garden planter

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How to Make a Vertical Herb Planter

vertical herb garden from old mail sorter
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If you’re short on space but need a spot for fresh herbs, consider repurposing something unexpected. This tutorial will show you how to build a vertical herb garden planter using an upcycled item. 

You can make a vertical herb garden out of a variety of containers, but it’s important to line them correctly.  When you use a liner, you don’t have to worry about chemicals or unwanted materials leaching into herbs that you plan on consuming. This step is especially important anytime you're using used planters. 

This project transformed an old wooden mail sorter into a planter that’s practical for indoor or outdoor herb gardens. The best part about this DIY is that you don’t need any woodworking skills to complete it.

Gather Supplies

supplies for vertical herb garden
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You only need a handful of items to complete this project. The best part is, you most likely have all of these around your home and in your garage or shed.

  • Fresh herbs
  • Potting soil
  • Contractor garbage bags
  • Coco liner
  • Gravel
  • Old mail sorter

Thoroughly Clean the Planter

upcycled herb garden with towel on top
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Remove any dirt and grime with a damp cloth prior to planting. Try not to use any aggressive cleaners with a ton of chemicals if possible. Make sure the planter has a chance to dry completely.

Cut Contractor Bags to Size

scissors cutting a contractor trash bag
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Contractor bags are thick plastic garbage bags that will keep the water inside and act as a durable liner for your herbs. Measure the planter and cut out little pouches that will fit inside the hole. You can use garden liners that are specifically sold for this purpose, too. 

Create a Pouch Inside the Planter

lining an herb garden with a trash bag
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The next step is to stuff the contractor bag or liner inside the vertical planter so that there are no gaps or seams. It’s okay if you have excess material at the top.

Cut Coco Liner to Size and Trim Excess

Coco liner in vertical herb garden
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You might recognize coco liners from hanging baskets. A coco liner will act as another barrier between the herbs and whatever planter you opt to use. Since this old mail sorter was painted, it was important to keep the herbs away from that old paint. The same goes if you decide to use old metal containers or old ceramic planters.

The coco liner also helps keep the moisture in the planter longer, so you don’t have to water your herbs as often. Since vertical herb gardens can have small planter sections, this step will make a big difference in the amount of water you’ll need.

Once the coco liner is in place, trim down the contractor bags to the top of the planter, so the liner is hidden. It's okay if the coco liner peeks out at the top since these are generally more attractive.

Add a Layer of Gravel for Drainage

Drainage gravel next to herb garden
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Since this container is completely enclosed and lined, there was no need to add drainage holes. Instead, add a layer of gravel at the bottom of the planter. These rocks will hold the water and allow it to evaporate without letting the roots of the herbs get too soggy. Remember, overwatering your herbs is a quick way to ruin them.

Plant the Herbs

Planting herbs
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Pick an herb plant that will fit inside the planter with some room to grow. This way the herbs don’t get root-bound. Remove the herbs from their container and gently separate the bottom roots with your hand. Press the plant into the vertical herb garden and add more potting soil as needed. Make sure you use potting soil and not garden soil because potting soil drains better.

Enjoy Your Indoor Vertical Herb Garden

indoor vertical herb garden planter
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The final step is to find a spot to hang your vertical herb garden. Pick a place indoors that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight for best results. Also, try to pick herbs that are known to do well indoors. Basil, mint, and oregano are great options. If you find that your herbs aren’t getting enough sunlight, consider putting them outside if the weather permits.